THE BLOG
06/08/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Letter to a Young Haitian-American

My dear young friend,

I am compelled to write to you now because I do not think you fully comprehend the vastness of being Haitian. Do you grasp our history? The present and the future are based on gleaning knowledge of our past - no matter the elements, which pollute it.

Today is the day for you to approach your parents and ask for their truth - not the media's, not the truth of the countless NGOs, not the international government's "truths," but a view from the lens of those who knew Haiti before the earthquake.

The young generation currently living in Haiti will inevitably view the country through an earthquake-tinted lens. Put aside all politics and try to get at the truth that underlies the oppression and depression in this nation.

You ask me, "Why did we allow this?" "Allow what," is my response. "All of it - the decimation of a nation. Why are we not stronger as a nation, when we are so strong of a people?" These questions are the epicenter of dinner and desert conversations. As of late, your questions have intensified; the answers do not easily rise.

Challenge yourselves to ask even harder questions about poverty, inequality and discrimination. Think about the country in economic terms.

Here are five questions to get you started on the journey:

1. What were the barriers to entry faced by Haiti, a newly independent black republic to the international stage?
2. Was there ever any efficient allocation of resources, human and natural, in Haiti?
3. Has their ever been a true investment in human capital?
4. Could there ever be a l'aissez faire market economy in Haiti? If that question is not relevant to your view of the island-nation ask yourself, do you currently believe the country could support a l'aissez faire market?
5. What role does and will the intersection of globalization, capitalism and innovation play in the rebuilding of Haiti?

As you seek answers, always remember that money motivates.